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On track

Small-scale racing sees large number of enthusiasts

September 9, 2016
Adri Sietstra ( ,

Greg Carstens, owner of Carstens Auto Body & Customs, has a series of three tracks on his property outside of Blairsburg. For eight years, Deadend Raceway has been racing small-scale cars.

Deadend Raceway features three separate courses: an oval track, off-road track, and figure-8 track.

Carstens started racing go-karts with his father and actually ended up building a race track at his father's house. They held races on Sunday afternoons. Carstens also raced remote control cars.

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"People came over and we actually had events and stuff," said Carstens.

As popularity with the track grew, Carstens decided to build a track at his current residence outside of Blairsburg. Maintaining and running the track is not a one-man job according to Carstens. His father assists with maintenance as well as friends Andy Jones and Nick Hassebrock.

Now Carstens races a fifth scale HPI Baha. The car runs three races: Late model, modified, and sprint car.

"They look identical to a car," said Carstens. "They're actually real race cars scaled down to size."

The cars are fully adjustable. According to Carstens they have a 9-horsepower motor and can reach speeds up to 80 miles an hour.

"We used to race tenth scale cars in the wintertime indoors," said Carstens. "We would race here in town and in Des Moines."

One of the last races of the summer season to be featured at the track is the Fifth Scale Midwest Classic, presented by Axis RC, which will be held Sept. 15-18 at Deadend Raceway.

Thursday is reserved for practice. The first round of qualifying races begins on Friday. The second round of qualifying races will take place on Saturday. Main events are scheduled to take place on Sunday.

"Racing brings everybody together. It's a fun atmosphere," said Carstens. "You don't need a race car to have a good time here either. It's just a laid-back, fun, easy-going atmosphere."

Carstens said that an average of 300 drivers and spectators show up for the yearly event. Participants from Florida, Maine, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, and even Canada come for the event.

This is the race's third year at the track.

"It's the same as racing here in Webster City, it's just smaller scale," Carstens said.

There will be three featured classes: sprint car, late model, and modified. There is a $50 entry fee for drivers.

The track is located at 2331 Quinn Ave., Blairsburg, IA. Contact Greg at (515) 835-1047, Nick at (515) 230-4373, or Andy at (515) 297-4748 to register or for more information about the event.

Individuals can also check out Deadend Raceway on Facebook.

The raceway also features a grandstand, onsite camping, food shack, and onsite showers and toilets.



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